Thursday, May 29, 2008

These boots were made for walkin...

WOOT WOOT! I did the Supercities Walk to End MS!

MS ---> "One-a these days these boots are gonna walk all over YOU."

...if I can get my feet to move forward one at a time and without kicking each other over... and if I can get my hands uncramped... and when the dizziness lets up a bit... and once I warm up from a day in the drizzle...

My two oldest daughters (12 and 10) and my Mom and Dad walked with me. I was so proud of them all! None of them are crowd people, and this was a 2000 person show. We had a blast :) I think that we all look pretty darn happy up there ^^^

Check out my very pretty walking stick. Pincherry wood from the local market last year. I still can't handle the idea of a cane, but sometimes I just have to have something.

Wouldn't have made it without her!! She was my balance and my extra foot and an unending source of strength. I need a name for my stick. Any ideas???

We did a whole 5 kilometres (OK, Shauna, I need you to help me convert this for our Southern pals...) Would that be about 2 miles?? Mental block here.

These are my good buddies, Melanie and Patrick. They live in the same housing co-op as we do and they have done the walk for years now, raising tons of $$ each year. Love them. And they make most excellent wine. Of which, despite goofy grin above, I had not been partaking before said picture.

I walked because *I still can*, and even if I don't see changes in time to benefit me, it was a most excellent supportive day with friends and family and wonderful people. I walk, with Hope for MY KIDS.

But I's pooooped now.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Smrt like Wile E. Coyote

Play hard... lose the ground beneath feet...

Will check in tomorrow!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I Ain't Nuts!

For my dear friend, Linda, at Brain Cheese, for her amazing sense of hope in the midst of temporary insanity...

All the best to you, Girl!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Seven Dwarves of Menopause

Hehehehehehehehe. I think that I work with all these fellows -- only they are female and wear Scrubs :)

Actually, I am getting hot flashes quite often these days and I'm wondering if I have entered the Wonder Years, myself. I'm (Shhhhhh!) 37 now and my own mom started with peri-menopause at my age.

My temperature fluctuates all over the place. It's never "normal" for the environment I'm in. Is this MS or Menopause?? Whatever it is, I despise it.

Of course, my moods are pleasant as can be. No mood swings here. Just an angel at your service!
(Uh huh)

Wish me and my family luck. I have 2 daughters with new hormones, an 8yo on the way there, and me with whatever the heck is going on... periods are bad enough without throwing curve balls in there! We are headed for the rapids in the river of life!

It's raining today and I am bored. And lazy. And tired. And I have to head in to work again in a couple of hours. Somebody kick me!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dirt Diggin'

I am lucky to be able to participate in a Co-operative Garden and today was a Work Bee day. We plant late here... most put in their gardens today after digging and fixing and working things up. I still have to think about what's going in ours this year.

I am sooooo burned -- a lovely farmer's burn with the lower half of my arms and the back of my neck pink as can be. Silly me. I knew I was forgetting *something*.

But I am happy because I tolerated the sun really well, even if I was out for only a couple of hours. Last summer I did NOT do well with heat.

I suppose all the rest of you gardeners are all planted already? Any suggestions?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Crazee Daze

Ahhhh, Spring. The special time of year when the family's agendas head madly off in all directions.

This week in simple form:

12yo daughter: hormones, mood swings, voice lessons, biking, babysitting, swimming, Jordan Sparks at midnight, camping weekend with best friend, straight-iron lessons, make-up practice, phone calls phone calls phone calls, foot rubs, SHOPPING, the dog ate my bras again Mom, Gr.6 Provincial Achievement Tests, stomach aches, working on an ulcer...

10yo daughter: drama drama drama, back aches, guitar lessons, MayDay celebrations, bake choco chip cookies, read, read some more, avoid housework at all costs, homework, trip to the mountains with Auntie, boys are stupid, teachers are stupid, all the kids in my class are stupid, baseball games with Hugo, anything gross, if i ain't happy ain't nobody happy...

8yo daughter: bugs, mud, math homework, bike bike bike, but i'm not dirty!, barbeques, candles, shells, cuddles, can I sleep with you Mom?, the water hose, flowers, can we go shopping for stuffies?, hoola hoops, scooters, duck ponds, fruit by the truckload, awww, but they're my favwit pants -- why can't I wear them all week?

6yo son: 3 sisters to bug, one dog to tease, one cat to torment, water sprayer, chocolate handprints, ice cream, new bike, soccer, road hockey, flowers, watering Mom's plants (the more the merrier), bruises, cuts, 5 neighbour girls the same age to make tree forts with, freezies, big sisters cookies, hugs, Mom's wattle, food food food, wet kisses, stinky hands, warm heart...

I'm exhausted... and that doesn't even include any of MY agenda for the week!

Check out this site for more fun women's cartoons.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Quick test: What do the following conditions have in common: Osteoarthritis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, gum disease, mental illness, and cancer?

Part of the Answer: Experts suspect that insufficient levels of Vitamin D raise your risk of getting these diseases.

Vitamin D is a steroid hormone which regulates cells all over the body, influencing insulin production, regulating immune function, and preventing inflammation and cancer.

Unfortunately, many of us are likely Vitamin D deficient. We are meant to produce Vitamin D via our skin as a result of sun exposure. Live in the North, like me, and those winter months don't exactly encourage Vitamin D production. You won't be seeing my bare booty soaking up the rays as the snow falls (Lucky for me, but more for you!) On top of that, when the summer sun does actually hit, we pile on the hats and sunscreen for protection. But according to Dr. Holick of the Boston University School of Medicine, sunblock as low as SPF 8 reduces the skin's vitamin D production by 95% !

The good news? For those of us with neuropathic pain related to MS -- Brand new research results have been published in March of '08 which point to Vitamin D as an effective "analgesic" in relieving diabetic neuropathic pain. As an end-stage palliative cancer nurse, I see every day how incredibly difficult it is to treat neuropathic pain. Wouldn't it be wonderful to be given the option of something as simple as Vitamin D to diminish burning, stinging, buzzing, numbness, and throbbing?

Of course, it won't be the drug companies funding any future research. No, Vitamin D is too inexpensive to be worth their time. Dang.

So what do we do?

The answers are D-cidedly easy.

1) Sun yourself! Spend 10-15 minutes outdoors without sunscreen at least twice per week.

2) Eat D-licious foods. Very few foods contain much Vitamin D. Rich foods include the following: Cod liver oil; oily fish such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel; eggs, and fortified milk, soy milk, and orange juice.

3) Take a daily supplement of cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3), which is the form naturally occurring in our bodies. The Canadian Cancer Society (June, 2007) recommends 1,000 IU of Vitamin D daily during the fall and winter months.

No one has done studies at this point in regards to how much Vitamin D is too much. However, toxicity is very rare. The U.S. Food and Nutrition Board sets the upper level for daily dietary intake at 2,000 IU. It's interesting to note that a "young, fair, and scantily clad person hanging out near the equator produces 20,000 IUs of Vitamin D in 10-15 minutes of peak sunshine". That's 100 times higher than the upper level set by the FNB! The Journal of Expert Opinion Pharmacotherapy in 2008 points out that in order to reach toxic levels of Vitamin D, which would cause organ damage due to high calcium levels, most adults would have to take well in excess of 10,000 IU/day for many months or even years.

I'm all for a supplement which has been proven in the medical field to prevent a host of diseases, and which is used in the treatment of many more. And I'm selfish enough to champion anything that will reduce pain and decrease functional impairment!

It's D-lightful news!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Top 10 list -- Carnival of MS Bloggers

The Carnival of MS Bloggers is up! This week, Lisa has given us a list of "the 'Top 10' list of absolutely the most necessary tools and armor any MSer must have on this journey called Multiple Sclerosis".

I'm proud to have a part in this week's Carnival. Thanks, Lisa, for all the work you do with these!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Day Off

More later when I finish my Nap...

Monday, May 5, 2008

InterGalactic Lisping Jedi Day!

I can't believe that we forgot to Celebrate on Sunday!

So here's a Belated

"May the 4th Be With You"

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Tis or Tain't?

This has been a frustrating week and I'm guessing (hoping?) that some of you can relate and that I'm not too wayyyy out in LaLaLand. Probable MS... do I or don't I????

First, I had my yearly with my Primary Doctor. She did a very thorough exam and pointed out deficits/abnormals as she went. I'm OK with that. I knew what they were anyway. She reminded me to be careful on the stairs, advised cranberry juice to prevent UTI's due to bladder issues, agreed with my bowel routine to keep things moving along, renewed clonazepam for night-time leg spasms. She listened, advised, didn't make me feel crazy. She said "your MS may continue to give you problems with {insert countless weird symptoms here}" and instead of making me feel like a victim, she encouraged me to be proactive. I'm fine with not knowing for sure what is going on neurologically, as long as there she recognizes *something*.

Then, my 3-month follow-up with my Neurologist (which fell in the middle of one of my nastiest days at work, as fate would have it). Pompous a$$. 5 minutes, no eye contact, a barely minimal neuro exam that ONLY tested cranial nerves (I was a stroke nurse, *I* could have done this to me... and I don't have problems with my tongue deviating or my eyebrows raising evenly... how about testing my reflexes and balance??). I told him about falling down the stairs last month and my leg buckling at least once/wk leaving me catching myself or on the floor. He says "may be seizures or black-outs". What should I do for follow-up/safety? "Less stress". Hmm, I'm right on that, Doc.

Bladder problems: "You have four children, of course you will have bladder problems". Well what about the 5 years after last child/before bladder problems began?? I was once the queen of the Kegels before I became the queen of the numbum last fall. He said "you need to see a urologist/gyne and they will test you and teach you exercises. But I don't know any good ones to refer you to, so ask your primary doctor. Here is a prescription for Detropan in the meantime" (bladder infections, here we come!!!) He says "We don't know what is going on, but stress and depression can be very psychosomatic" (uhhhh, what if I am not depressed, and my greatest stress right now is dealing with two pre-teen daughters?? LOL -- sure that IS stressful, but it's very doable :)

He left me feeling a little insane, imaginative, and problematic. The joys of the Specialists -- if they can't immediately nail something, it's hard on their ego's and they will rather abandon it than wait and see. I don't want an immediate diagnosis. I don't want a bunch of prescriptions. I just want to be safe, and I just want to know that I'm not imagining myself into numbness, electric zaps, tripping, weak legs, and bowel incontinence.

I know that they see some really creative patients... but that is not me. I don't have time for that. And I wouldn't have picked elimination failure as my symptom of choice if I did!!

Rant, rant, rant. Maybe I *do* have something to prove...